I'm a side dish kind of gal, and I'm not alone. In the summer, that hunk of protein on my plate doesn't need a lot of variation to keep me content. But that's not the case with the sides. In summer we crave variety and freshness. We look for color, crispness and flavor in the salads and vegetables that land on our plates. And that's particularly true at summer picnics -- especially the big one in a few days. Doesn't really matter whether it's tube steaks or burgers that land on our paper plates. We'll be searching the picnic table for more interesting fare, like those we offer here (see recipes at right).